Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Valentine’s Day – Sowing The Seeds of Love

Kathleen Tuite


Tuesday 07 February 2017

The 14th of February, a day when it is traditional to send a card, often anonymously, to a person one is romantically involved with or attracted to. A day which generates millions in sales of cards, flowers, chocolates, and gifts. A day that has a long history dating back to the Romans, with little sight of cards or chocolates, but is now a day celebrated in countries worldwide. In some Latin American countries, Valentine's Day is known as "el día de los enamorados" (day of lovers).

In the United States, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. Across Ireland and Europe sales of cards, flowers and chocolates rise similarly. But some countries take a different approach to Valentine’s Day; take Slovenia for example, where Saint Valentine or ‘Zdravko’ was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A Slovenian proverb says that “Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots”, plants and flowers start to grown on this day.


So what does Valentine’s Day actually mean to children? This is a question we may ask, and down through the years we have seen and maybe even been part of rolling out adult-led craft based activities to young children, in the hope of introducing the children to the colour red. Perhaps even encouraging children to get ‘creative’, by painting red love hearts, making cards, sticking and gluing, and baking heart shaped cookies.

Which prompted me to ask some pre-school children about what Valentine’s Day means for them; below are the comments from some of the children in FairyFolk, Kilkenny: 
"It's Saturday"
"It's where everyone gives something to everybody, like a vase or some flowers or some chocolate hearts"
"Or some chocolate cake"
"Where you give your mother something nice, like a picture or a card"
"It's when you tell everyone that you love them".

As you can see Valentine’s Day has some collective meanings for these children, but also some ambiguities! And like every year on the 14th February, this day comes and goes and children take home different messages, a lot of them about love and friendship, which is not a bad thing at all. Apart from that, the 15th February arrives and children have little to remember of the day before, except possible sightings of flowers, cards, or chocolates.


So perhaps this year, we might look to Slovenia’s take on Valentine’s Day, and mark this day with the planting of some seasonal herbs, like Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Flowers like Cyclamen, Helebores and winter pansies or spring and summer flowering bulbs. Children could enjoy the experience of loving and caring for their herbs and flowers for most of the year. Watching them grow and bloom, welcoming spring with all their hearts! This would be a day to remember and love hearts could adorn the pots and planters…and friendships could blossom among the children as they tend to their herbs and flowers!

What are you doing for the 14th February in your setting, we would love to hear from you and perhaps the children?

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Awards 2018(3) emotions(2) Trigonometry(1) Snakes(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Celebrations(4) stories(2) Pen green(1) overhear(1) Staff Motivation(1) Irish(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Window(1) code of ethics(1) risky play(2) Performance Management(1) Jenga(1) Employee(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Hand Hygiene(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) play stories(1) blog(28) Special Needs Assistants(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Iceland(1) Interests(1) dogs(1) Sport(1) Academics(1) Funding(1) National Awards 2018(2) Trade Unions(1) Our Little Seed(1) Family(1) babies(7) Certificate(1) experience(1) learning(19) Graduate(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Autism(3) Ariana Pucci(1) Plastic(1) Treasure(1) outdoors(3) educarer(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) christmas(9) Home Corner(1) Community involvement(1) Mount Everest(1) Exit interview(1) Thank you(1) Horizon 2020(1) respect(5) Social Skills(1) Eritrea(1) Wrapping paper(1) Sustainable(1) Decisions(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Afghanistan(1) Orla Kenny(1) Inspections(1) Mindfulness(2) Laugh(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) feisty(1) Participation(2) STEM(3) Policy(2) ICBN(1) Love(2) Early Years Educators(3) toddlers(3) Summer(1) Playschool(1) Buddy Bench(1) Xbox(1) Giraffe(2) refugees(1) Mathematicians(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Maternity Leave(1) Mud kitchens(1) Loss(1) Budget 2018(1) The Jelly King(1) Party(1) Story(1) Interaction(1) Wesco(1) Socioemotional development(1) Drawing(2) routine(2) Lego(2) Time(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Self-regulation(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Yoga(1) AIM(2) Plants(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Confident(1) NCCA(3) dining(1) Arts(1) Magda Gerber(1) Confidence(1) Feeding(1) Engagement(1) NAEYC(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Traffic Lights(1) Vertical grouping(1) awards 2020(1) community(5) Family wall(1) SPICE Framework(1) Workplace well-being(1) RIE philosphy(1) Light table(1) Photographs(1) Investment(2) Oireachtas(1) Decision Making(1) Nutrition(1) Workforce(1) Support(1) Recycling(2) INTO(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Role play(1) Síolta QAP(1) outdoor space(3) bonds(1) Storytelling(4) Routines(1) Diversity(1) Mo Scéal(1) Maria Montessori(1) Health(2) listening(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Syria(1) Titles(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Japan(1) Pobal(1) Body Language(1) Awards(2) Human Resources(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Leprechauns(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) development(8) Maths Week Ireland(1) Masterclass(2) Graduation(1) maternity health(1) scéalta(29) Annual Conference 2019(1) Games(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Training(2) Italy(1) books(4) social media(1) Favouritism(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) UD(1) meals(3) Easter(1) Childcare(2) Motor neuron disease(1) Settling in(4) budget(1) E.coli(1) CCTV(1) Supernanny(1) Teamwork(1) Touch(1) parents(6) Reggio(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Awards Night(1) Map(1) Prexit(1) Valentine's Day(3) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Visitors(1) early childhood educator(1) Leadership(1) Child mental health(1) preschool settings(1) Appreciation(1) New Appointments(1) Document Learning(1) Brain(1) Professionalisation(4) Weather(1) Identity(5) Thinking(1) Children's Rights(3) Siolta blog(5) Kerry(1) Exploring(1) Running(1) emotional environment(1) Snacks(1) TOY Programme(1) Qualifications(1) DCYA(4) child-centred approach(1) RTE Investigates(1) ReCreate(2) Anxiety(2) Learning Journal(1) relationships(17) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Mealtimes(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) risk assessment(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Spiders(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Santa(2) Nuturing interactions(1) life long learning(1) CPD(1) Fantasy play(1) Rituals(1) Kids Own(1) preschool(3) Grief(1) Margy Whalley(1) Iraq(1) Book Club(2) Trick or treat(1) value(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Advocacy(1) Halloween(2) Adoption(1) Online(1) environments(1) Breathing(2) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) ERASMUS+(3) memories(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Scéalta Blog(93) Norway(2) Montessori(3) Learning Story Awards(2) Maths(5) Self-Esteem(1) interacting(2) Malaguzzi(1) Children and families(1) Mental Health(3) Meet the Members(1) EECERA 2016(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Traditions(2) Study Trip(1) journey(1) Pobal sector profile(1) IGL(1) Dance(1) Inclusion(3) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Arlene Forster(1) Positivity(1) Mantra(1) University(1) dining experiences(1) Síolta(108) Together Old and Young Programme(1) National Holiday(1) Consent(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) TRAP(1) linc(1) Digital(1) Learning Story(1) Visual Impairment(1) Elders(1) Challenges(1) MA(1) science week(2) play(32) outdoor play(6) National Awards 2019(1) Shapes(1) Academic Skills(1) College(1) Communicating(1) Painting(1) Ceremony(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Cognitive development(1) Shoes(1) EM Standing(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Culture(2) European Project(1) DES Inspection(1) Inter-generational(2) CIT(1) Vietnam(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) PIP(1) Fee Play(1) Children(3) reading(5) Flowers(1) Reflective Practice(1) educating(1) Thanks(1) Craft(1) Wilenski(1) Leargas(1) Imagination(3) research submissions(1) Potential(1) Laughter(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Through the looking glass(1) collaboration(1) Scents(1) Playdough(1) Frustrations(1) Educators(2) Leaders in Practice(1) education(2) role playing(1) Interactions(2) baby room(1) worries(1) Primary School(2) Stress(2) Penguins(1) Sweets(1) Competent(1) Early Years(1) Names(1) Children's Research Network(1) First 5(1) ears(1) Sleep(1) Event Guide(1) eating(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) mushrooms(1) early years research(2) dublin(2) Workplace Relations(3) Recycle(1) Childhood(1) Budget 2020(1) communication(4) Research Seminar(1) science(3) Intention(1) story time(2) San Miniato(4) planning(1) Magnavacchi(1) Whole Group(1) Engineering(3) Well-Being(9) grandchild(1) Learning journals(1) ECCE(7) transitions(10) Sustainability(3) Maths Week(1) School Age Childcare(1) Little Buddies(1) listen(1) Seas Suas(1) under 3's(3) Rich Documentation(1) Awards 2019(1) Affordability(1) Fabric(1) Time Out(1) Children's Voice(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Biting(1) Queues(1) Builders(1) pets(1) Empathy(1) MECPI(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Treasure Chest(1) Line-ups(1) First 5 strategy(1) Meal time(1) Twitter(1) Belonging(3) risk(2) Winter(1) aistear blog(2) ECEC Setting(1) conversations(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Building Resilience(1) curiosity(3) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Relaxation(1) Upcycling(1) AsIAm(1) Patterns(1) Administrative Burden(1) Mark Twain(1) Mixed age groups(2) trust(3) The Lullaby Book(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) United Nations(1) Bereavement(2) food(1) Maynooth University(1) Infectious diseases(1) Creative(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Cork(1) Inspirational(2) Sessional service(1) Obesity(1) Exercise(1) Music(3) Annual Conference 2017(2) Reggio Emilia(1) Independence(1) research(6) Change(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Degree(1) Limerick(1) Albert Einstein(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Book Review(1) Impact(1) documentation(3) ECEC(2) Maynooth(1) Quality(4) Smiles(1) Infection Control(1) Design(1) Celebrate(1) Environment(2) Arithmetic(1) Blocks(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Art(6) Mayo(1) Technology(3) Engineers Week(2) Care-giving routines(1) Wonder(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Communications(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Buddies(1) UNCRC(1) Digital Devices(1) curriculum(5) Aistear(114) Snack Time(1) Magic(1) Wendy Lee(3) friendships(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Death(2) Reggio Children Network(1) Universal Design(2) Care routines(1) Facebook(1) Exclusion(1) Learning Stories(9) Creativity(4) Scéalta Book Review(1) Glitter(2) Self Help Skills(1) UN(1) purpose(1) Capable(1) animals(2) Performing(1) GDPR(1) Trade union(1) supportive environments(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Kilkenny(1) Nonverbal(1) Gardening(1) Gratitude(1) HR(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Sequins(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Budget 2019(2) Behaviour(3) Sculptures(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine